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[ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." first five stories trending at this hour. child hostage standoff. it is now in its fifth day. turkey embassy bombing. new information about the bomber's past. first pet remembered. groundhog's accuracy rate. super bowl by the numbers. we have details on all those stories throughout the hour. but first -- today we are learning more about a suspected kidnapper in alabama as the hostage standoff
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is in its fifth day now. this is the man police say is holding a 5-year-old little boy captive in an underground bunker. jimmy lee dikes is a navy veteran. neighbors say he has deep mistrust of the government. we'll go right now to the scene in midland city, alabama, gabe guttierez, a tough few days. another emotional day ahead, i suspect. >> reporter: that's right. this afternoon mourners are preparing to remember that slain bus driver. police appear willing to wait this one out. as police towed the school bus from the crime scene friday, investigators released the first picture of the man they say is responsible. 65-year-old jimmy lee dykes. the man believed to be holding hostage a boy with asberger's syndrome named ethan in an underground bunker. >> we understand he's got supplies there. he's got food there. but this is a young child five years old. has he got food that this child will eat?
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>> reporter: nbc news has confirmed dykes served in the u.s. navy in the 60s. he served various awards, a good conduct med methal and vietnam service medal. but on tuesday those honors seem very far away. police say dykes boarded a stopped school bus and demanded two random young children. when the bus drive refused, plea say dykes shot and killed him and made off with 5-year-old ethan. kelly miller says her kids got off that bus right before the shooting. >> i cannot believe if he got on that bus with the intentions of grabbing a 6 to 8-year-old, all he had to do was reach out and grab him. he let him clear the bus and get home before all this happened. >> reporter: meanwhile the visitation for the bus driver charles pollen junior is scheduled for today. his family says he loved his job and died a hero. >> every time a child got on my dad's bus they were though
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longer their parents they were his. he considered them his children. i know that's the reason why my dad took those shots for his children just like he would do for me and my sister. >> reporter: that pain is being felt throughout this town of 2300 people. schools were closed most of the week. >> i think it's crazy that it's happening so close to home. >> as soon as we pray we already believe that prayer's going to come true. >> reporter: every night there are multiple prayer vigils here. prayers for a young boy still trapped in a bunker. prayers for the man who did everything he could to save him. and these ribbons are popping up all over town as residents pray for a peaceful end to the standoff. the local sheriff is expected to speak. so far authorities have been very reluctant to release any information in the standoff. alex back to you. >> gabe, i know you'll monitor that news conference for us.
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let us know what happens. appreciate it. overseas now details about the man allegedly behind the deadly terror attack on the u.s. embassy in turkey. the suicide bomber is reportedly identified as an ex-convict and likely linked to an outlawed anti-american group. the man blew himself up at the entrance of the embassy in the capital city of ankara yesterday. the attack killed a turkish security guard and wounded several others. there's been no claim of responsibility and officials are still looking for a motive. to front page politics, new today president obama like you've never seen him before. white house press secretary jay carney tweeted this picture a short time ago. it's of the president who is shooting at clay targets. it was taken august 4th of 2012 on the range at camp david. the president had mentioned his skeat shooting exploits in an interview with the new republic last week. the pick toured release comes just ahead of the president's visit to minneapolis monday where he is going to promote his gun control proposals. new today president obama says
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2013 can be a year of solid economic growth but only if washington gets out of the way. >> we are poised to grow in 2013. and there are real signs of progress. home prices are starting to climb again. car sales are at a five-year high. manufacturing is roaring back. our business has created 2.2 million jobs last year. and we just learned that our economy created more jobs over the last few months than economists originally thought. >> hey, guys, holding back on front page politics and back to alabama now where there's a news conference on that hostage situation. let's take a listen. >> he's also allowed us to provide coloring books, medication, toys. i want to thank him for taking care of our child. that's very important. at this time i'm going to let you ask me a couple of questions. but you know it needs to be
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brief. there's very limited -- i'm limited to what i can give you. >> why medication? >> ma'am, i can't release that. >> do we know if he's actually taking it? >> what do we know about the actual state of the child? >> we can only do a couple. >> does he have television and electricity? >> we don't have a lot of details of that, okay? >> [ inaudible ] bus driver -- hit an emergency button inside the bus to call police. >> i don't have any information about that. >> can you tell us anything about your conversations with the suspect? >> we've been in constant communication with mr. dykes. >> is he making any demands? >> at this time like i said i can only answer a few questions. and i've got to get back across the street. or p.r. is going to talk to you about further information down the road. thank you. >> if you have any questions you can send them to my e-mail
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address. kevin.cook at dps -- >> there we've listened to a very brief news conference. what we heard is that the 5-year-old boy has been taken hostage by jimmy lee dykes in an underground bunker there in alabama, has been for five days. has now been given some toys, some coloring books, the kinds of food he would like to eat. you heard the sheriff thank mr. dykes for allowing them to send these splice down to support that 5-year-old little boy who reportedly suffers from asberger's syndrome and also adhd. there are reports he's been crying for his parents understandably so. keep in mind he's just 5-year-old. was abducted from his school bus after his school bus driver was shot trying to protect his kids. as soon as we have any updates we'll bring that to you now. i bring in my panel reuters political reporter and
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"politico" reporter. let's get to those verbal skeptics, andy, who really went after the president when he said he'd gone skeat shooting. so this picture we're showing right here, that was released by the white house by jay carney. does this put to rest any of those questions? >> well, looks like the president shooting a gun. so i'd say yes. but i doubt that will mollify the national rifle association or other gun advocates who worry that this is his proposed gun control steps are the first wave of some sort of gun grab. you saw the testimony this week. these proposals that they're putting forward enjoy broad support from the public such as expanded background checks. the nra's wayne la pierre said that's not something he supports. this will be a fight. >> why do you think white house
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press secretary would release this now? >> president obama says he supports the rights of hunters and sportsmen in the second amendment. now we have visual proof that he has also shot a gun. so that does perhaps bolster his case. also this has become a small distraction. there's a lot going on, obviously, in washington. but this issue, skeatgate, if you will, has continued to come up. >> come on. >> let's not go there, right? but has continued to come up. jay carney's gotten a lot of questions about it this week. the white house didn't put out any details with this photo. so for people who have questions they will probably still have questions. >> right. >> for the white house this allows them to seau asked for a picture. here's a picture. now can we get back to the things that we actually want the american people to know about. >> we should make sure that everyone knows, this is at a shooting range that's at camp david. last summer in august. there you have it. andy, i want to switch gears here. this new republic article today
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that's titled "goodbye to the scott brown era. the blue state tea party was short and traumatic." is the scott brown era over? >> i don't think the scott brown era is over. i think the scott brown era in the senate is over. i mean, think about it. the poor guy has been running for the senate pretty much nonstop since 2009. once he got there he found out that it's a really difficult place to be a moderate republican when so much of your party is solidly conservative and every vote you take is under a microscope. now if he just sits tight and maybe runs for governor in the next year or so, that might be a much easier spot for him. as you know, massachusetts often elects moderate republican governors like william well and mitt romney. >> exactly. the point is, he would have had this appointment for what like five months. had to gear up for a special election. then only do it all over again for 2014. he just says he's plumb tired. rachel if you look at the state of massachusetts it is a pretty blue state. even if scott brown ran would he have a chance? >> absolutely.
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he was a favorite in the race. this really lets him recharge. if he had run, even if he had won he would have had to soon after that run once again. and as a massachusetts republican, he would have been in the senate in the minority party, dealing with issues like gun control and immigration. that was going to make it very hard for him. this allows him to reset a little. now he can maybe think about the governor's race where he would also have a very good chance. so this really doesn't close off any options for him in the future. >> okay. rachel and andy, thank you. a little abbreviated because of that news conference. that hostage situation in alabama. thanks we'll see you again. >> my pleasure. by now you may have heard the big weather news today. you can expect an early spring the indication from punxatawney phil. in a moment we'll look at how accurate he's been over the years. first i trust her more than his
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predictions. >> you trust me more than a groundhog? i appreciate that. thank you. it would be nice to get spring in early after the cold cold temperatures we've been seeing so far this season, especially within the last few weeks. today is another one of of those frigid cold days. we've got 3 degrees right now in minneapolis and 15 in chicago. we're back down into the 20s in the northeast. and you factor in some wind and look at how cold it feels across portions of the dakotas it feels like 20 below right now. green bay, wisconsin feels like 6 below. that wind chill is what makes it so brutal though it is improving. we no longer have wind chill advisories. we do have some snow around the great lakes and into the ohio river valley. buffalo, new york has been seeing endless lake effects snow. we will see that continue through the day today. also off the shores of lake ontario as well. we've got these quick moving systems coming in from the north. that's what's going to produce about 2 to 4 inches of snow across ohio, into portions of
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pennsylvania and the mountains of west virginia could end up with 3 to 6 inches that will try to move into the northeast tomorrow. but we shouldn't see much more of an inch in areas across the northeast. highs of 33 in boston, 28 in new york city today, 11 in minneapolis with a few flurries and chicago those snowshowers you had earlier this morning should start to wind down by this afternoon. alex? >> here's part of the reason why nooim your corner as opposed to the groundhog's. the accuracy rate for punxatawney phil claims phil has been right 39% of the time since 1887. that is it. >> i thought something was fishy there. so many times it's cloudy, it could be raining, snowing in punxatawney, pennsylvania. he still she is his shadow. >> if he sees a shadow that would mean it would be spring. because the sun's out. it's nice out. >> right.
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>> i'm totally confused with this. >> i think we might be thinking too much into this. it its still a groundhog. >> we'll call this a wrap. thank you, dylan. west coast headlines are next. one front page story about a man who hasn't spoken for 20 years. you may know him. and mixed word on the economy. one man we trust to tell us whether happy days are here again. that interview after the break. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at the end of trial and error has arrived. is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away. tamiflu is prescription medicine for treating the flu
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some head lives making news on the west coast, the "arizona republic" has the headline contraceptive compromise. it's about the obama administration's attempt to reach a deal with religious leaders in a battle over contraceptive insurance coverage part of the president's health care reform law. the "san francisco chronicle" has the story titles 49ers leading in pr fumbles,
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about fumbles with plays like randy moss and chris culliver. the las vegas sun has a huge headline, 20 years of penn and teller. celebrating a record run in las vegas. incredibly, teller hasn't spoken a word. think about it. ever heard him talk? nope. let's go to the economy now in a mixed week of news that ended on a high note. the dow closed above 14,000 for the first time since before the recession. steady jobs growth helped drive that rally. the economy adding 157,000 positions. that's all good. here's the bad. the country's gdp shrank during the fourth quarter. it is the first time that happened in 3 1/2 years. joining me now, msnbc contributor jared bernstein who served as vice president biden's chief economist and economic policy adviser. i don't know if you heard the tease before the break there, jared, here's the deal. i said you were the only guy we're going to trust to tell us if it's happy days are here again. is it? >> that's very nice of you. i wouldn't say happy days are here again. i would definitely say sad days
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in terms of recession are very much behind us, even with that fourth quarter gdp. according to the report, the economy contracted by .10%. i don't think that's going to stick. most economists believe it was driven by some unusual things that won't be there once they revise those numbers. but the economy is essentially growing too slowly. it's growing below a trend growth rate that would be fast enough to give people the kinds of job opportunities they need, bring the unemployment rate down a lot more quickly. that's what's been missing. >> okay. what about this story on today's "new york times" front page which says "as u.s. growth lags, some press the fed to do still more." i've heard the fed has exhausted all of its tricks. isn't it now up to congress to push through policy that's going to grow the economy? >> exactly. i read that story this morning. and i had the same reaction. and even probably even more to the point, that's what ben
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bernanke keeps saying. he's saying look i'm doing all i can. now, it is true that they could do more. i'm not sure how much more would help. and it's not just the absence of fiscal policy that is measures from the congress that would help with job creation. it's not just that we'd like to see more of that. it's kind of like we'd like to see them do less harm. because if you look at the kind of fiscal policies that congress has been arguing about, it's all these fiscal time bombs. there's the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling. now the sequester. i mean, we're now talk about perhaps $85 billion in spending cuts in 2013 if they don't get their act together on the sequester. that's pointing exactly in the opposite direction. so the fed is kind of setting the table but not getting the support from the congress on the fiscal side. >> so given the looming debt ceiling limit here, this week on morning joe the "new york times" economist argued why the u.s. should spend now and worry about deficit reduction later. here it is.
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>> dashing spending when you still have depressed economy is really destructive. it's probably even counterproductive even in purely fiscal terms. we should be sustaining government spending until we have a stronger economic recovery. >> this is not a hard call. as long as we have 4 million people who have been unemployed for more than a year, this is not a time to be worrying about reducing the budget deficit. give me something that looks more like a normal employment situation and i'll become a deficit hawk but not now. >> do you subscribe to that, jared? or is that too extreme? >> not at all. i think paul's exactly right. paul and i share the following thing. we're deficit doves in a down economy, and deficit hawks in a strong economy. at a time like this, what you really need is faster growth. by the way, not only will that help put more people to work, but it will actually help reduce your budget deficit ironically because those people will be working, paying taxes, they won't be drawing on government benefits. when you're into a robust
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economic recovery, that's when you want to start serious deficit reduction. but if you do it too soon -- and we've seen this in europe. all that austerity. if you do it too soon, not only does it not work on the growth side it actually hurts you on the government debt side. >> okay. politics here, though, with republicans calling for all this deficit reduction -- they control the house -- is it politically not viable for paul krugman and you to get your wish? >> apparently it's less viable than perhaps it ought to be if we were just going on the economics. look, i think the thing that maybe paul and certainly me are both saying is, it may be unrealistic to expect more stimulus spending at a time like this. but i don't think it's inrealistic to take a hippocratic oath and say do no ham. that is don't take another $85 billion of government spending out of the economy willy nilly by letting the sequester kick in on march 1st. i think at least you'd want to support the recovery by not hurting it.
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>> jared bernstein as always a pleasure. thanks for weighing in. >> thank you, alex. now number three in our first five web stories, barney remembered. the scottish terrier was the first dog during president george w. bush's time in offers. the former president released a statement on his face book page saying "barney never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. laura and i will miss our pal." barney died friday of lymphoma at the age of 12. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix
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step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. today's list of number ones, we begin with america's favorites on four wheels. the top car in a new consumer survey reports that toyota that automaker got the highest scores for value, innovation and eco-friendliness. ford second -- atlanta ranking number one for travelers who have to catch a connecting flight. hearts field gets top grades for services, amenities and dining. >> nice to meet you, akim.
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>> i have recently been placed in charge of garbage. do you have any that require disposal? >> eddie murphy in "coming to america" one of his biggest box office hits. one reason murphy ranks third on wall street's list of the most valuable actors of all time. his films have made an estimated $5.9 billion. the rankings are about more than just the bottom dollar. harrison ford coming in second thanks in part to "star wars" and "indiana jones." they served about $7.5 billion. >> mama always said there's a lot you can tell about a person by their shoes. >> the best. he played "forrest gump" to win his second oscar. combine the hardware and film earnings of about $6.25 billion. that is why tom hapgs wins the honors the most valuable actor of all time. go, tom. and those are your number ones here on "weekends with alex witt."
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welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." in an attempt to rein in iran's nuclear ambitions, vice president biden says the u.s. is prepared to hold talks in iran but only if the leadership in tehran is serious. speaking today at a national security conference in germany, biden said there is still time for diplomacy to succeed but iran need to show good faith. twitter is warning that a quarter of a million users may have been hacked. the company confirms that hackers accessed some 250,000 user names, e-mail addresses and encrypted versions of passwords yesterday. users holding the affected accounts have been notified. in today's strategy talk, through the gauntlet, defense secretary nominee chuck hagel faced a brutal confirmation hearing on thursday, stumbling at times as the senators grilled him. but senior white house adviser dan fiver now says they have the votes and there is no question hagel will be confirmed. joining me now is media strategist and former spokeswoman for transportation secretary lahood.
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also former deputy white house press secretary under president george w. bush. we're sorry about barney passing. >> like a very heart-felt note from president bush yesterday on barney's passing. look, all of us who spent time in the west wing, we loved seeing barney. barney around or on the south lawn with the president. so he's missed. >> well, definitely. and our hearts go out to them. that's tough. anyway, jill, i'll begin with you. let's take a listen to this. here we go. >> i have already stated that i regret the terminology. i've already noted that i should have used another term. the bigger point is, what i was saying, i think -- what i meant to say should have said it's recognizable. it's been recognized, is reck ok recognized. i said it and i don't remember the context or when i said it. i've said many things over many years. that's what i should have said.
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and thank you. >> you're a communications expert. what was the message chuck hagel's performance sent about his readiness for the job? or did he just need like a venti-sized coffee or something? >> alex, i think everybody in town agrees that was one of the more dreadful performances before congress. it is what it is. but the fact is, members of congress generally will defer to the president. if the president says this is who i want in my cabinet, unless there's some sort of smoking gun they're going to confirm the nominee. and i think that's what's going to happen in this case. but yes, he could use a little media training, i would say. >> media training, jill. but also i mean just almost int intellectually speaking. he have been prepared? >> none of those questions were a surprise. you could anticipate every single one of them. you could anticipate the tone,
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too. and yet he just seemed very rattled and not ready. >> okay. tony we have another clip. let's play it for you and get your reaction. >> okay. >> i would like to answer whether you were right or wrong, and then your free to elaborate. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer on a lot of things. >> let the record show you refused to answer that question. please go ahead. >> well, if you would like me to explain why i -- >> i actually would like an answer. yes or no. i think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir. and you're on the wrong side of it. >> capital g grilling there. what was the message to senate republicans particularly john mccain sent with their treatment of hague snell. >> i think actually it was a long memory from people who had to work with chuck hagel over the years, alex. i think a lot of people who didn't say then senator hagel and sometimes his treatment of
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witnesses at the stand, people that had to go before him and be questioned by chuck hagel were not surprised by this kind of grilling. also, remember chuck hagel spent a lot of time telling people they were wrong or they were immoral in some of the decisions that they made. and this was some payback for him for that type of stance towards others in both colleagues and people who had to testify before his committees. >> yeah. and i mean, there are those who -- john mccain, shall we say, he's probably going to be upset that chuck hagel was there supporting president obama when they were running against one another. you get that. but this is a pretty serious job, tony. this is defense secretary. i mean, do you think that kind of politics, those maybe personal issues should be brought up under these circumstances? >> look, my bias -- jill talked about this earlier about the bias towards the president being able to name the members of his
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cabinet. i'm a strong believer in this. i don't like the senate holding up the president trying to put his staff in place. i don't think that's what's going to happen here. but in terms of tough grilling at a hearing, these are all grownups. and certainly like i said, chuck hagel has seen it from the other side of the desk for many years. he was a leader of tough questioning of witnesses who sat before him. he's a grownup. he should have been better prepared for it. he should have handled it better. but they cab get through this just fine, i think. >> so just fine, jill, ultimately does hagel get confirmed. even if he does do you think the white house has any second thoughts about this choice? >> i don't think so. once the white house puts a nominee out there, unless you find out they committed a felony or did something so, so egregious, it's pretty rare to have them pulled back in the middle when you've had the confirmation hearing. so i think it's full steam ahead for him.
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and now he's going to have to sort of redeem himself once he gets into the defense department and show that he can do the job. >> how about this, tony, overall. do you think republicans have kind of once again done damage to themselves on this national stage? hagel, sure, he may not have looked great. neither did the gopers, right? >> i don't think so. i actually don't think that the general public was paying that close attention to the hagel hearings. i think they understand and actually sort of come to expect that you're going to have these kind of frictions for confirmation hearings from the opposition party. they've seen it from democrats doing it to republican nominees in the past and that kind of grilling. i think the public expects it, expects to see some tough questioning. i think the questions, the topics were certainly serious questions. and at the end of the day i agree with jill that chuck hagel will likely be confirmed. it probably won't be on a very bipartisan vote. and it will be a bare minimum but he will get confirmed.
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>> it's interesting. because i agree with you that the public expects it. we in the news media as we cover things expect it. but it did seem a little too bitter particularly from john mccain. those sound bites were played everywhere, tony. >> john mccain is no stranger to sort of controversial confrontations. i think he's pretty good at it. i think again these are grownups. they know what their reputation is about. i think john mccain knew exactly what he was doing when he was questioning hagel. >> okay. tony fratto and jill zukman, good to see you both. in today's one-minute playback, folking fun at newark new jersey mayor corey booker. bill maher mentioned booker's hands on approach to governing, digging out somebody stuck in the snow. helping a dog left out in the cold. >> but he's modest. there are a few others they don't think people have seen. would you like to see some of
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the -- >> i'm very afraid. >> here's you repairing a gap in the path train with your body. [ laughter ] >> fantastic. here's you in a laundromat stopping a fight between someone who left their clothes in the drier too long and someone who took them out without asking. >> that's actually a real picture. >> that's a rile picture, yeah. >> here's you taking the car keys from lindsay lohan. [ laughter ] wow with olay, here's how. new regenerist eye and lash duo the cream smooths the look of lids... softens the look of lines. the serum instantly thickens the look of lashes. and the award for wow eyes in just one week goes to you.
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i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! now to the super bowl kickoff. the game is a little more than a day away. the stats are staggering. nbc's reporter is live in new orleans. we're going to get to you for the breakdown on all the statistics. how's it going? >> reporter: alex there's a lot to break down. we always hear how many millions of people watch the super bowl. how much dip is consumed. how expensive the tickets are to the game. what are the actual numbers? if you want in you're going have to write a big check.
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because it is very expensive. the super bowl is not super cheap. by the numbers, it's the 47th super bowl and the tenth hosted by new orleans, a city that knows how to party. >> go ravens. >> go niners! >> reporter: the french quarter is already busy. but on sunday pack your patience. some 150,000 fans will fill the city. 73,000 will have coveted seats in the superdome. and even the nose bleeds aren't cheap. the average ticket price, $3400. the rest will hit nola's big screen hot spots for their game day fix. some are bunking at the rv resort in the french quarter. yes, it exists. and at 600 people it's as full as it can get. they're not partial to east or west coast or jim or john harbaugh here. it's an equal opportunity fan club. >> i'm rooting for the 49ers.
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and mike -- >> i'm rooting for the ravens. >> reporter: and for those nowhere neither big easy, it will be easy to watch the game. from a front row seat to their flat screen. the most watched event of the year was seen last year by 111.3 million people. some just for the commercials. this year, 30 seconds goes for a cool 4 million. those 2010 promotions were such a bargain. only 2.65 million. of course you're eating while you're watching. chicken wings are a favorite, and experts say some 1.25 billion will be consumed this weekend. and those super bowl parties? if you received an invite, plan on an average of 17 attendees. and then there's this number. zero. that's what beyonce' is earning or isn't for her performance sunday. not a dime. while the nfl coverage production costs of putting on the show for the star, there's no check in the mail.
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so i'm thinking beyonce' is probably okay without that paycheck. but let's talk about production expenses. that sounds so innocuous. what is that? that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. everything from the private jet to get beyonce' here to the hotel to haul her people, to setting up the stage, the production equipment. it can run several hundred thousand dollars. so to say that she's not being paid is technically true but the expenses are all covered, alex. >> oh, yeah. do you know how much money she's going to make when people listen to her and think i've got to go get a beyonce' album or download songs. >> reporter: absolutely. right over to itunes and into her pocket. >> absolutely. have fun. looks like you are. thanks for the stats. in today's office politics we bring you a best of edition featuring nbc's lester holt, best accepting author john mitch up, the "new york times" nicholas christophe and our own chris matthews. we begin with a photo of chris who's writing a book on the storied relationship between president reagan and house
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speaker tip o'neal. >> this is a book that maybe everybody on capitol hill could pick up and read. >> i think it's an interesting story. it's not the schmaltzy story about two old irish guys drinking and passing bills. it's much more interesting about two guys who both recognize that elections matter, their offices matter, we have to keep the government going and keep making compromises because it's the only way to keep the government going. all kinds of issues they found a way to keep it going. so real philosophical differences but i'm going to tell the truth. there's a lot to tell. it went on for six years and i was there. >> that picture was taken in northern lebanon. it was several years ago when hezbollah and israel were going -- hezbollah was firing rockets into israel. i went there. they had just hit -- the
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israelis had just hit a building they believed had some hezbollah leaders. we rushed over there to do pictures and stand up an on camera piece. i remember telling the camera person i could hear the israeli drone overhead which means they were still checking it out. maybe they wanted a followup strike. i said one take and we were out of here. i'll never forget i nailed it in one take. to the camera. i didn't like the lighting. let's do it again. i'm like dude. i remember three takes. that's it we're done. we got out of there. but it's really unnerving because you can't see the drones. you can just hear this sound as it's flying over. very freaky. >> another critical moment, actually, that's reagan in '76 in kansas city. coming out. if you look closely at the picture you can see the whole history of the republican party in the modern era. bob dole, gerald ford, nelson rockefeller, and reagan has just lost the nomination to ford. ford has just given his
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acceptance speech. and then made a critical mistake. i admire this he gave rag gant last word. he summoned reagan down in kansas city. reagan got up and stole the show. >> it's amazing that you travel around iran, and it feels like the most pro western country in the middle east. everybody they find out you're an american. they just want to talk to you. they practically want to hug you. i took my family with me, two of my kids with me on my last trip. and so we took a long road trip across the country. >> cross iran? >> across iran. >> you drove in a car with your kids across iran? >> exactly. it was a little bit crazy. >> interesting vacation. >> yeah. i was a little nervous child protective services was going to have a word with me when they found out about this. >> this wall and all the photos that cover it, i mean, it is wonderful. >> a lot of this is david human kennerly who was a very young
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pulitzer prize winning photographer in vietnam, was president ford's white house photographer, shot for "time" and "newsweek" and a lot of other folks through the years. nixon at the grand ole opry. that's david's contact sheet from nixon leaving the south lawn on august 9th, '74. >> i was there. >> that's ed clark who was a "life" magazine photographer, fdr's funeral. that's the accordion player at warm springs. >> that's very touching. >> yep. >> well, tomorrow at this time we're going to have more best of office politics with a focus on the president and the first family both out on the campaign trail and just recently on inauguration day. first came a senate ethics inquiry. now today a new report about new jersey senator robert menendez and his relationship with a florida eye surgeon. [ male announcer ] what are happy kids made of?
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new details in the investigation of democratic senator robert menendez. it is now reported the senator may have used his power to help a friend's business interests. he was accused of violating campaign finance laws. >> these are nameless, faceless, anonymous allegations. >> well there you heard that. joining me now with the very latest is nbc news national investigative correspondent, michael issakoff. they say senator menendez may have used his influence to benefit a florida owner's port security business in the dominican republic. this same donor whose office was raided by the fbi earlier this week. what are you hearing? >> exactly. this all revolves around the senator's relationship with a florida eye doctor named dr. seymour melgi n, one of his top fundraisers and a long-time political contributor and friend. so here's what we know.
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starting in june of last year, dr. melgen began pumping a large amount of money, amounting to about $700,000, into a democratic superpac that was heavily backing senator menendez's re-election. then in august, senator menendez, chairing a senate subcommittee hearing, presses state department officials urging them to back a contract in the dominican republic for port security that would benefit a company-owned by dr. melgen to the tune of potentially tens of millions of dollars. now, senator menendez's offices say there's no connection between the political contributions and senator menendez' relationship with the doctor and his pushing for that
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contract. they say the senator's interest was only in beefing up security in the dominican republic to stop the threat of drug trafficking. but the problem is, this comes after a lot of other disclosures this week. there was the fbi raid of dr. melgen, the acknowledgement by the senator's office that just last month the senator wrote a personal $58,000 check to dr. melgen to reimburse him for flights that he took on dr. melgen's jet to the dominican republic in 2010 and that the senator had never reported on his financial disclosure form. this had prompted an ethics complaint by new jersey republicans in november, complaint to the senate ethics committee. and then only in january, january 4th of this year -- so just about a month ago -- the senator wrote this personal check to dr. melgen. so all this has created a lot of
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ethical questions for the senator at a time he's just become chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. >> okay. pretty powerful position there. people should know in terms of the senate ethic rules that the cutoff i believe is $250 that you have to report these or in the case of a flight that he took these two flights, he'd have to get advance permission to go ahead and do that. he pays them back later. you heard the senator before we got to you. he said that this is all fameless, nameless accusers. is this all political, michael? which is not a stretch, of course. it is washington after all. what's your take? >> i think this began -- this was seen by most people initially as potentially at least a political smear. there were allegations that first popped up on a conservative web site that the senator was getting sexual fa r favors in the dominican republic with his trips with dr. melgen. no responsible news organization reported those at the time,
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because there was really no corroboration. but the senator's office this week in trying to fend off reporters kept referring to those allegations. in fact, talked about the allegations about use of a prostitute. prostitutes saying they were part of a political smear, they were false, they were manufactured, they were only reported by a conservative web site. but the problem is in the course of that they had to acknowledge the senator wrote this check to the eye doctor. the eye doctor's office got raided by the fbi. and now this new information about the superpac donations and the help on the port security contract. >> you know how this goes. it's all accusations at this point. when they have to issue denials that's when everything starts fomenting and makes it a big story. michael always good to see you. the shot seen around the world. what to make of this new picture
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a very good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." it is 1:00 on the east coast, 10:00 a.m. out west. we're going to get for what's happening out there right now as just a short time ago white house press secretary jay carney tweeted this picture. it shows the president skeat shooting at camp david. it was taken august 4th of last year. this comes about a week after the president said in a new interview that he had shot skeat before at camp david. let's go right now to nbc's kristin welker at the white house. kristin, did the white house feel it needed to back up the president's comment with this photographic proof? >> reporter: well, they must have. that's why they released it. just to give you a little bit of the tick tock after president obama talked about the fact he shoots skeat all the time up at camp david, white house press secretary jay carney got pressed on that issue earlier this week. reporters asking him how often
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does president obama shoot skeat at camp david? at that point in time carney didn't really have an answer. he just referred reporters back to the president's comments. but this has got an lot of buzz this week. so i think that the white house wanted to release evidence, if you will, that president obama does in fact engage in this sport. in terms of the buzz that it's gotten, the daily show has poke add little bit of fun at the president's comments. congresswoman marcia blackburn challenged president obama to a skeat-shooting contest. on a more serious note, the nra says that president obama was trying to prove that he's one of them when he in fact isn't. the president was to be fair making a point that look he does respect people's second amendment rights. and of course this all comes against the backdrop of president obama calling for stiffer gun legislation. he signed those 23 executive actions into law. aimed at making gun safety. improvements. on monday he travels to minneapolis, minnesota where he will be talking about gun
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safety. interestingly, alex, minneapolis is a place that has really started to move in the direction that president obama would like to see the nation move and in terms of enacting use prevention guidelines as well as broadening background checks of those who actually own guns. so a lot going on. i should also tell you, alex, this is really trending on twitter. a lot of people talking about that picture today. >> you can see. why it's a pretty strong picture of the president doing his thing. if people aren't familiar with skeat shooting culture, you can definitely be opposed to certain ideology offered up by the new york nra and enjoy shooting skeat. i've shot skeat before. i've made it pretty opinionated how i feel about gun control. so just saying, kristin. >> reporter: i've never done it, alex. i'll have to join you sometime. >> it's a lot of fun. you have to do it carefully. i'll take you out. >> reporter: thank you, alex. joining me now political reporter for the "u.s. news and
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world report" and reporter for the "washington post." have the two of you ever shot skeat? >> i would like to see a photo of you if you don't mind one. >> i tried a .20 gauge. then tried a .12 gauge and nearly knocked off my shoulder. what you cover every day at the white house, david, did you have any idea that jay carney was going to tweet this picture? >> not at all, laengs. they talk about a friday news dump when you try to release information you don't like to talk about friday night when people are busy. this is like a saturday news dump where you hope people aren't going to talk about it quite as much. i think kristin you just talked to said it right, the white house wants to put it behind them as the president heads to minneapolis this week to talk about guns. it was an odd reference the president brought up during that interview. there weren't a lot of followup questions during the interview about the skeat part of it. i think a lot of people were curious, our own "washington post" fact checker did a column this week. looking back no evidence the president talked about it before becoming president. and very little evidence at all if any that he had done it at
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camp david. this was a chance for them to do that. i think it's just an awkward situation over all. but i think it will probably put it behind them. >> lauren, timing of this picture. why do you think it was tweeted out today? >> he's going to be speaking to a crowd in minneapolis. minnesota has a strong tradition of sports shooting. i think this kind of goes to the fact folks have been saying for a long time is obama out to get our guns. i think what this picture shows is that he's are trying to relate to sportsman shooters and show that he's got a relationship with firearms other than just trying to regulate them. >> okay. let's talk about what's happening then on monday, david, the president heading to minneapolis. he's going to push his gun control agenda. but ultimately what are the white house's expectations on gun control? >> if you talk to them they're going to say they're pushing the whole comprehensive sort of program of assault weapons ban, limiting the number of ammunition and magazines, high capacity magazines.
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and also universal background checks. you saw the vice president went to richmond to sort of kick off his tour on guns. now president's going to do so. however, i think realistically they know it's going to be a hard road. i think you might see ultimately that some of the issues will peel off and get more support than others. i think the one that a lot of people look at could get more support on the right is the universal background checks which enjoy i think a 90% public approval rating. there's going to be a lot of discussion and speeches. i think this is the first of many you'll see from the white house. i do think it's going to be a long road and i think they're aware of that. >> what do you think in terms of gun control legislation, lauren? what's the most we can expect to get passed? >> i think the hardest sell on the hill right now will be senator feinstein's all-out assault weapons ban she's introduced. that's going to be a hard sell to those conservative democrats who are up for re-election in 2014, senators like mark baggage of alaska, max baucus of montana. that's going to be the hardest sell. universal background checks i think is where the consensus is
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building, although the senate judiciary hearing on tuesday or wednesday, one of the things that happened was that the national rifle association said that is not something that they can get behind. so you know, they're definitely going to be scoring those votes. i think it's going to be a harder sell than maybe folks originally thought when it comes to universal background checks. >> let's take a look at what's happening in massachusetts. lauren, scott scott brown saying he's not going to run for the senate seat opened up by john kerry. wasn't that the best hope republicans had to get that seat? >> a poll came out showing he had a slight lead on the democrat's candidate, ed marquee. i think he really was one of the best shots they had. a senate seat has not been held by a democrat in the state of massachusetts before scott brown before 1972. so this definitely has a long history of being a democratic stronghold. the bench is thin when it comes to republicans that you can put up against popular democrats in the state.
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>> so david, massachusetts certainly a democratic stronghold. even if scott brown ran, do you think he would have had a chance? >> yes. i think he did -- would have. the polls did show him actually with a fairly large lead. and he said in his statement he didn't want to mount a third campaign in what four years or something, two years. and i think there were a lot of people pushing him to do so. i think a lot of people thought he would. i think he's wanting to pursue other options, maybe not a career politician. >> you think? because again people thinking that he might have won. you're saying it here. what do you think, it was unappetizing the idea of getting into this special election, do, dog that and having to do it all over again a year later? seem like it was nonstop campaign really. >> absolutely. there's people in the house doing that all the time because they only go for two years. but i think for brown this is something that -- he's also pursued other options and i think he has. they i don't think it was that appealing to him to do it yet again. >> david and lauren, always good to see you both.
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thank you. for the latest political headlines check out first read. it is updated daily so you can check back often. log onto details about the man allegedly behind the deadly terror attack on the u.s. embassy in turkey. reports confirm suicide bomber is an ex-convict linked to an outlawed leftist group. the man blew himself up at the entrance to the embassy there in ankara yesterday. it killed a turk irk security guard and injured several others. there's been no claim of responsibility and officials are looking for a motive. now to our big three money headlines. stocks surge, overdrive, and super spenders. joining me now forbes staff writer morgan brennan. we talked about the stock surge yesterday. kind of good news. how much and will it continue? >> we've seen a really good start to the year for stocks. on friday we saw the dow up. it actually vaulted over the 14,000 mark.
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first time we've seen that in about five years. it comes after a really strong january for all of the indexes. we actually saw both the dow and s & p 500 having the strongest starts that they've had to the year since the 1990s. so fingers crossed. this could keep going forward. >> what about car sales, looking good? >> car sales looking great as well. i think consumers are confident about the big ticket purchases. in january we saw a 14% increase versus january of 2012 as far as vehicle sales are concerned. about 1 million vehicles sold. analysts expect about 15 million vehicle sales this year. i think the big story this year will be pickup truck sales. lots of increased demand there. that's very strongly tied to construction. as we see more housing we're going to see more pickup truck sales. >> that's good. what about super spending our third headline here relative to the super bowl? >> i think the takeaway here is $12 billion. that is the amount the national retail federation projects will be spent on sunday alone by
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super bowl watchers. on everything from football merchandise to furniture to actually television sets. about 7.5 million people are expected to buy new tvs this weekend just to watch the game. >> they're going to have to pay more for the chicken wings, right? >> yes. this is an interesting story. this goes back to the drought we saw last year. we saw less chickens raised by farmers. so we have less chicken wings available this year. you don't have to run to the store and stock up. it just means that prices are going to be a little bit higher this sunday. and actually, americans ingest about 1.2 billion chicken wings per super bowl sunday. so i guess that's the food du jour. >> not for this vegetarian. but anyway moving on. morgan, thank you. a picture for you on this groundhog take of punxatawney phil. >> for all you faithful, there is no shadow to see. an early spring for you and me.
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>> all right. and then here in new york, staten island chuck emerged from his makeshift home. and also didn't see his shadow. i guess two groundhogs can't be wrong. let's bring on the warm weather. straight ahead, a political development that might lead you to believe hillary clinton is running in 2016.
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that is not exactly what we were looking for right there. we were looking for hillary clinton in the departure from the state department yesterday. and her parting words there were to the staffers which ended her four years as secretary of state yesterday. just before john kerry was sworn in to succeed her. as she moves on, "newsweek" proclaims clinton the most
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powerful woman in american history. in the digital cover story the reporter says "she has shown that women can wield official power and can do so with moral force equal to and in some ways greater than men." well, hillary:ton may become more powerful yet, at least in the hopes of my next guest. just 13 days into president obama's second term and 1,375 days from the 2016 election, two superpacs have already formed to support hillary clinton's potential campaign. and joining me now is the coe founder of the ready for hillary superpac and a member of clinton's 2008 virginia steering committee. thanks for being with me. >> i'm happy to be here. >> do you know something about 2016 that we don't? >> no. i just believe and refuse to give up and know how to organize. and i know this woman has never rejected any challenge that's been put to her. and so when the country comes to her and says we need you, she's going to step up and run. and we're going to be ready to
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help. >> so you don't have anything definitive. i get that. but obviously as a superpac, you can't talk to hillary clinton. but before you filed with the fec did she say anything to hint which way she's leaning? >> no. i mean, i kept a kryptonite firewall between us and the state department. first of all, as you know this secretary of state cannot do politics. and i have too much respect for the office and too much respect for the law to even flirt toward that direction. >> okay. how about money? how much have you raised so far? >> we're getting there. but just let me tell you something. i mean, in the past 48 hours since we started flirting with this, thanks to kirby haass our ex extraordinary social media guru -- >> i saw a stat that said on twitter you had 50,000 followers. that sounds like the number's
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even up from when this article was printed on "politico." pretend for a moment that she does run and she wins. how would a hillary clinton presidency differ from president obama's? >> well, i don't think you can really answer that until you know that the issues are that she confronts. what we know is that she is a passionate supporter of diplomacy, of development, that she certainly has strong relationships across the aisle, that she in the 112 countries that she's visited as secretary of state and the brilliant way that she has articulated and promoted and implemented smart power, that she's ready. i mean, we can speculate all we want. but every president has issues that they've got to address. and so it would just be sort of monday morning quarterbacks four years ahead. >> okay. how about this? i mean, can you look back and speculate on how the country might be different now if hillary clinton had won the '08 election? >> well, i mean, we'd have the same issues.
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we'd have the same divisions. and i don't want to accentuate differences. i want to look ahead. i mean, president obama is my president just like george bush was my president. what i want the country to do is to be ready to support her to lead with her commitment to human rights, her commitment to a strong international effective trade, to her commitment to diplomacy and defense, and development, and education and public service. i mean, there's a huge tone here. and what hillary is is strong and graceful and gritty and smart. and she knows how to keep people at the table. she's got strong relationships across the aisle. just look at the benghazi hearings. she knows how to hold her own weight. >> so clearly you're not so worried about any potential fallout from that. how about her age, though? got to be honest here. she's going to be 69 by election day 2016. that would tie her with ronald reagan as the oldest american president. do you think that might factor
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in? >> well, ronald reagan changed american history. hillary clinton already has. she's going to change it again. this woman has the biggest, most effective work ethic of any person i have ever known. i would bet half my mortgage that hillary has the strongest work ethic of any american. so she knows how to take care of herself. she's not going to do anything that's stupid. she's going to take her first vacation in 30 years. let her rest. let her have some fun. and then she'll step up. and when she's strong and continues to think she can do it, she'll step up to the plate and knock it out of the ballpark. >> how much do you think republican women would cross the aisle, so to speak, to support her? >> there's no question. this morning i woke up to almost 1,000 e-mails just sent to my personal e-mail address from people they know across the country. many of whom are republican for work that i've done for different ngos. they're all begging me to give her greetings. everywhere i go, republican
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women say to me, oh, my god, if you can see her please tell her we want her to run. please tell her we need her. we will work. what can i do? we've got republicans on our steering committee. >> wow. okay. that says something. i was going to send you an e-mail to say thanks for being on the show but you'll never even see it. so thank you for being on the show. all right. we'll see you again. >> okay. thanks a lot. >> you're welcome. up next, the big deal in the big easy. we're going to see what's happening in new orleans on this the eve of the super bowl. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive? a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel.
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>> a little television magic is saving us from an fec fine. naked people pressing their luck on a new law against public nudity in san francisco. many people rebuffed the ban and took it all off. some were arrested and face a $500 fine and a year in jail. it is a day of celebration
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and service in new orleans. just one day before the super bowl kickoff. dozens of exclusive a list concerts and parties are planned for tonight and volunteers will join the nfl for a day of service today. nbc's janet sham ling is covering it live from new orleans. is the big easy ready to to go for this big game tomorrow. >> reporter: they are ready. it's kind of a tale of two cities. right now everybody in town to enjoy this is out having fun. all these sponsored events with justin timberlake and jay z and the celebrities and the former athletes and all the stars. and then there are the people who are working around the superdome, they are setting up the -- what is that word? the metal detectors type thing. and closing off the streets and all the security that's involved and all the service people who are getting ready. but they've done a really good job here. the city looks great. it's sparkling. the nfl experience is open for kids and adults. a lot to see there. all the super bowl rings and all
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the championship footballs. lombardi trophy is on display. you can get your picture taken with it. so there's a lot of -- as many folks like working on the event and the parties. and then there's a whole group of the celebrators who are out lining bourbon street in the french quarter and having a good time. tonight is the big night for the exclusive you can't buy your way in parties. these are the invite only big events with the big stars, concerts. very super secretive where are going to be. and then of course tomorrow game day. 73,000 people have a ticket to get in there. if you're lucky you have one of these, a little pass that gets you somewhere around inside, maybe not exactly a seat. >> nice. >> reporter: nice. of course there's shopping all around. already i've picked up t-shirts, footballs, all of that. they're ready. this is chamber of commerce weather. a little windy but i think it's 65 degrees, pick ter perfect alex. >> that sounds good. real quick we hear about all the
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fun, all the parties, blah blah blah. but security. we haven't heard a lot about that. is that because they're on top of it. they're keeping a low profile now but come tomorrow it's going to be stepped up huge? >> reporter: i think it's been stepped up. we just haven't talked about it. in the hotel where i am at there are two police officers there around the clock. you see them everywhere. not just in the french quarter. we're staying near the convention center. and they're on every corner. they've got a big police presence here. there just doesn't seem to be any problems so far. >> good. >> reporter: but the police are everywhere. and i think they've done a really good job of being prepared or almost overprepared for what might come. >> okay. well good. well enjoy it all. thanks so much for reporting, janet. we appreciate it. the reverend al sharpton joins me next on the uptick. and violence in chicago and one woman's story. it's a tragedy. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." i have very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free keeps the seeds from getting up underneath.
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with alex witt." 30 past the hour right now. time now for our five fast headlines. speaking at a security conference in munich, germany today, vice president biden said the u.s. is prepared to hold direct talks over iran with its nuclear program but only when the iranian leadership is serious. it is calm in cairo today after yesterday's outbreak of violence where protesters threw molotov cock tails at the palace. back in this country, a convicted murderer accidentally released this week after a court appearance in chicago has been recaptured. the man is serving a 60-year murder sentence but was brought into court on another criminal matter. authorities say a clerical error led to that mixup. the justice department is investigating a complaint against a bakery in oregon that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. the owners say they won't do it for religious reasons. and the agriculture department is opposing new regulations forbidding schools from selling unhealthy snacks. the new rules however would not
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apply to birthday party treats or after school activity snacks. and those are your fast five headlines. today mourners remember the bus driver slain in the alabama hostage standoff. visitation is planned this afternoon for 66-year-old charles poland jr. his heroic actions saved the lives of several students on board his bus. meanwhile police released new details on the bunker in midland city where a man has been holding a boy hostage for five days now. nbc's gabe guiterrez is live here the scene. gabe what are the updates there. >> reporter: hi, alex. you know you've been following this for several days now that police have been very reluctant to release any information. but just within the past few minutes the local sheriff addressed the media and did release very little. here's what he had to say. >> mr. dykes through constant communication he's told us that he has an electric heater and
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blankets inside. he's allowed us to provide coloring books, medication, toy. i want to thank him for taking care of our child. that's very important. >> reporter: and that is significant. the sheriff thanking the suspect for taking care of our child. and we have heard reports that the bunker does have electricity, perhaps even a television. so that does signify how tense and really delicate these negotiations have become. now, this all started tuesday afternoon when police say the suspect, 65-year-old jimmy lee dykes boarded a stopped school bus near here and demanded two children. when the bus driver refused police say dykes shot and killed him and made off with a 5-year-old boy named ethan who has a mild form of autism. since then they've been holed up in this underground bunker for several days. police have been locked in the negotiations and have been talking with the suspect through
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a ventilation pipe. this community has been stunned by all this. they are right now hoping and praying for a peaceful resolution. as you mentioned, visitation for that bus driver is scheduled for later today. >> gabriel quickly, this boy is supposed to suffer from asberger's syndrome as well as adhd. do we know if he needs medication and if he's gotten access to it? >> reporter: he has had access to medication. the sheriff has mentioned that the police have been able to lower medication and crayons and coloring books to keep him occupied. again this afternoon he actually thanked the suspect for taking care of that child so far. alex? >> gabe, thank you very much for that update. coming up next with the big three, the partisan flogging of chuck hagel on capitol hill has the president gone wrong with hague snell we'll be right back. we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces,
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bring justice for murdered teenager hadea pendleton. someone shot and killed that 15-year-old honor student in the middle of the day on tuesday. police increased the reward to $40,000 in hopes of finding her killer. her mother spoke with msnbc's reverend al sharpton this week. >> a friend who was there with her called me to let me know what was going on. and i left immediately. the first cab i could come across to get to my baby. never in a million years did i ever dream that i'd be getting a call that my baby being shot. >> that is tough. joining me now, the reverend al sharpton host of msnbc's "politics nation." i tell you as parents, that just -- there's no greater sorrow than that. and to think of that poor mother sending off that child who had just gone and performed. she was a drum majorette.
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she goes to the inauguration. she's so proud. she's an honor student. had hopes to go to pair this summer. and then gets her life cut down like this. >> no. it is a heart-wrenching story. i mean, i've worked on a lot of situations with my organization. but there was something about this story, i think, that really got all of us. because here's your model young lady. i'm the father of two. and no kind of connection with gangs, violence. in fact had done a commercial against gangs. and here she is a victim of this kind of gun violence and murder. it's happened not far from the president's home in chicago. >> yeah. like a mile. that's it. >> i mean, it's the kind of thing that really shakes a community. and i think that we've got to do something about gun control. >> this anti-violence commercial you talk about, we have a clip of that. i want to roll that so people can see what she was saying.
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>> hi. my name is hadiya. this commercial is information for you and your future children. so many children out there are in gangs. it's your job as students to say no to gangs and yes to a great future. >> talking to our future children, the future children she will never have now. >> right. >> and when you think about this, they say that it was some sort of a gang-related incident. but there particular murder, do you think it's impacting chicago's community? i mean, it's got you. it's got me in its grips. but what about chicago? have they become immune to this kind of violence? >> i mean, obviously some have. but i think this has touched a chord. there's a lot of people that are responding. the mayor now is saying he's going -- mayor rahm emanuel to bring people that were doing desk duty in the police department, bring them out. reverend jesse jackson's marching. reverend acry and the ministers. i think a lot of people that were concerned has escalated concerns.
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i think it's got to lead to the whole national drive that many of us are in around gun control. >> but here's what's so interesting. let's look at the city of chicago where this is a horrific really crime wave for the past year plus. this is a city that doesn't have gun shops. it does not have gun ranges. it has some of the toughest laws. so why is that not working? >> that is exactly why you need national laws. because in the city of chicago there are no gun shops. in the city of chicago there are strict gun laws. but 20% of the guns confiscated in chicago come from a gun shop right outside of chicago. so unless you have national laws, you are not going to be able to do it with just local municipal laws because you can't build walls around the city. 20% of the guns they find come from one gun shop, which is just a couple of miles outside of the city limits. if you had national legislation, you would not have the high
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proliferation of guns because 20% of them come from that one store. >> there was an ideology out there, though, which will say look what's happening. if we try to restrict access to guns for law-abiding citizens then only the bad guys, the crooks, the criminals, they're going to be the only ones who have those guns. what do you say to that? >> that's absurd. if this young lady had a gun would it have saved her life? she wasn't in a gun battle. she was standing at a stop being covered and she was shot in the back. what good guys? if she had a gun it would have been no good. if there were gun laws possibly, possibly her assassin wouldn't have had a gun. but having a gun wouldn't have helped her. and if you had guns would it have helped the kids in newtown? you wouldn't be sending first and second graders to school with guns. we've got to take the guns out of bad guys' hands, not talk about giving good guys guns. we're going to start arming first graders? going to start arming people like this young lady?
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it's ridiculous. the way the only -- i heard the nra vice president appear said the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is take the gun. make sure bad guys can't get guns to the degree that we can. >> and yet you make absolute sense. yet when you think about what's going on in capitol hill, this on the heels of newtown where we all were horrified and mourning back in december, a child like this, such an innocent victim. these stories seem to be coming faster and more furiously and more violently. and yet on capitol hill they say the best that we're going to be able to expect is that you might get universal background checks? >> the real problem is what you just said. we are seeing these high profile cases escalation in murders all over the country from new york to l.a. yet there's been no legislative response nationally. but that does not make sense.
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we've got to compromise on dealing with something that's a clear national epidemic, it seems. and i think that we've got to make it clear to the national congress, the national legislators, there's got to be a national response to this. and if we're talking about just settling for background checks and not dealing with the assault weapons, magazines, there is no reason in the world to have military weapons other than for mass murder. there's no other reason to have a magazine that can shoot 100 times. so why are we acting as though it's legal? you don't need to shoot 100 times to go hunting. this is absurd. >> look at though what you referenced how mayor rahm emanuel is going to put out a couple hundred more cops. desk patrol get them out on the street. is that going to help? >> i don't know. 100 more cops, 200 more cops, and still you're going to let people get guns right outside of the city? i mean, it may be all he can do as mayor. i think that congress has got to make it difficult to impossible
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for people to get guns. it's amazing to me how they want to do everything but attack the problem. the problem is that people can get guns and can get assault weapons and magazines that kill a massive number of people. and for people to sit up in front of a congressional hearing and say, oh, you need a lot of bullets just in case four people break into your house. i mean, the insane kind of explanations only create a climate for people that are depraved to be able to do depraved things. >> well, i know you're going to use your broadcast pulpit. >> i'm definitely going to do that on "politics nation "and any other pulpit. >> you can watch reverend al each week day weeknights at 6:00 p.m. on msnbc. it is time now for our big three. here are today's topics. confirmation battle, burning questions and best week worst
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week. let's bring in the big three panel. press secretary for rick santorum's presidential campaign, democratic strategist and white house reporter for the "washington post." hello the three of you. nice to have you. >> great to be with you. >> felicia, we want to talk about chuck hagel's confirmation hearings this week. what's the message from the white house on this? are they confident he'll be confirmed? >> the white house is saying they're very confident he'll get the 50 votes necessary to be confirmed in the senate. the question is though or i guess the silence from the white house is whether he could get 60 votes. that would be the number he'd need in order to overcome a republican filibuster. it would be unprecedented for republicans to do this. no cabinet nominee has ever been filibustered. but the question remains there was the potential battle over susan rice. that fizzled with obama's nomination of john kerry to be secretary of state. now over chuck hagel, this could be the next battle. it's a big question of whether republicans are really spoiling for that kind of unprecedented
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fight here. >> but we have john mccain. any other prominent republicans who may not vote for him? >> you've got about i'd say a dozen republicans right now who have come out and said they are actively opposing his nomination. none of them have said so far whether they would actually be willing to block it. the republican leader in the senate mitch mcconnell has held off right now on saying if that's an option for them. it's a big question. i think you've seen a lot of other nominees get blocked. certainly richard cordray, the appointee for the consumer financial protection bureau is not going anywhere right now. but the opposition to this kind of appointment of chuck hagel, someone who i think a lot of voters throughout the country weren't as aware of like someone like susan rice ace different question here. >> speaking of john mccain moving on to you, alice, let's take a look at these tense exchanges between chuck hagel and the senator. >> were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this
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country since vietnam? were you correct or incorrect? yes or no. >> my reference to the surge being the most dangerous -- >> senator hagel, the question is were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. i would like the answer whether you are right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no. >> so it feels like the senator is still fighting the iraq war there. who do you think, alice, looks worse in the exchange between the two men? >> well, clearly hagel. he couldn't put up a good defense for his position in that particular area. this is one area where he just clearly didn't understand what his record was. he first was for the iraq war and then he was opposed to the iraq surge, saying it was a terrible blunder on the part of the u.s. when in fact it worked. he also had trouble answering questions about where he stands with israel. he has failed repeatedly in the past senator to show solidarity
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with our greatest friend and ally israel and was not able to answer his record on that. today all of a sudden they're a friend? then in terms of the iranian nuclear development, he didn't understand the policy on that. so time and time again he repeatedly showed that he as secretary of defense would be the worst possible person in terms of his record and where he stands now in terms of how this would show a display of strength on the american policy toward friend and foes in the middle east. >> you know, morris, alice brings up a point about just the way he presented himself. it seems like his answers appeared at times as if he wasn't even ready for some of these questions. didn't he know what was coming? >> i don't think he knew what was coming quite frankly. it is confusing for all of us who are sort of watching this process. john mccain is stuck in some time warp. he's just angry, upset, and just hostility that comes across from him is just unreal these days. hagel did not understand the
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type of onslaught he was going to get. he did look unprepared. but it's just curious that you have a president who's trying to be bipartisan and a republican party that's going so forecefully after him. i mean, it's just strange what's going on within the republican leadership at this moment. >> let's move on to this picture that was tweeted out by jay carney showing the president last august at camp david. he had said in an interview that he enjoys skeat shooting. there's the proof of it. but felicia, why of it. why tweet it now? >> as my colleague mentioned, we didn't get a sense from the white house that this was coming. when he tweeted that, a lot of people were taken back by it. the senior white house adviser tweeting it, it seems like it took the white house a couple of days to get its act together and they were really unprepared for the firestorm to sort of generate it here.
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they did due diligence and found this picture in the archives in august and decided to release it out there to try to put it to rest. as was the case with the release of the president's birth certificate, sometimes these things will never really get put to rest. >> this was enough about nothing with the crazy republican tactics. you didn't believe the man that he shot a gun or not? that's silly. we have to find a picture to prove it. we have to get the birth certificate to prove he is an american. he's the leader of the country. the campaign is over. get over it, guys. stop worrying about whether he shot a gun. how about getting the republican fixed? it's silly. >> call it crazy, but he is trying to show he respects second amendment rights when he is going all over the rights.
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he has no more respect for american's individual rights to protect themselves and the families than the next person. >> that are is absolutely unbelievable what you just said. this is a situation where we have people dying and the president has to prove to you he shot a gun. do you need to see the bar of soap he used if he said he took a shower? >> clearly the white house felt like they had to. >> you have to when you have silliness coming from your side of the party. can you focus on anything like moving the economy forward or getting the debt ceiling together. reporting to things that don't matter. the republicans are a laughingstock around the world. >> we are happy to talk about moving the economy forward. >> call your members and tell them to get to work. >> will you three talk if we take a quick break? that's what we are going to do. we'll be right back. wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it?
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back to the big three. let's bring the panel back in. alice, you are up first. >> the best week is the white house communications department giving that they got a free commercial on 60 minutes with the president and hillary and will get another before the super bowl with the president on sunday. clearly the worst week in washington would be chuck hagel. oprah winfrey went into the lance armstrong interview more prepared. he showed a lack of conviction and confidence to do the job. >> you are up next. >> i will start with the worst week. angry politicians. nothing but anger and we need positive politicians. enough with the anger. the winner is the clinton dynasty. bill clinton at an all time high and hillary at an all time high. i believe the best is yet to come.
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good for them. >> the best week is to the proponeents of immigration reform. you had the president traveling to nevada and the group of bipartisan senators producing their proposals for immigration reform. this is the first we heard of this in the past several years. the worst week is between chuck hagel and the skeeters, skeptical of the skeet shooting skills. >> see you back here tomorrow, but craig melvin is getting miked up. see you soon on tv. have yourself a great day. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
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Weekends With Alex Witt
MSNBC February 2, 2013 9:00am-11:00am PST

News News/Business. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Chuck Hagel 15, Chicago 13, Us 11, U.s. 8, John Mccain 8, Skeat 8, Hagel 8, Minneapolis 8, Jay Carney 7, Dr. Melgen 7, Washington 7, Scott Brown 7, Alex Witt 6, Alabama 6, Massachusetts 5, Nbc 4, New Orleans 4, Msnbc 4, Obama 4, Clinton 4
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